Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Injuries adding up early for the Colorado Rockies

The Colorado Rockies spent much of the 2010 season on the disabled list. Troy Tulowitzki missed 33 games with a broken wrist, Todd Helton spent more than 15 days on the shelf with a bad back, and Huston Street didn't see Coors Field until June.

That is just the beginning of the list.

The Rockies struggles with injury were a major reason why they came up short in their run for the playoffs.

Needless to say, the club is trying to stay on the field and out of the training room.

Hopefully, for the club, they are just getting their bumps and bruises out of the way early on in spring training. So far, Ian Stewart and Aaron Cook are on the sidelines nursing injuries. Stewart has a sprained MCL that he hurt within the first few pitches of spring training, narrowly averting disaster when he nearly collided at full sprint with both Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. Stewart is scheduled to be out about a week.

Cook's injury is a little more worrisome. He is dealing with shoulder stiffness. The pain quickly conjures up memories of Huston Street's issues at the beginning of spring in 2010. The reports on Street kept coming back positive. He had no structural damage and would begin throwing again. As soon as he began throwing, the issues came back and the Rockies were back at square one.

Cook began throwing, felt pain, quit throwing, took time off, felt better, began throwing, felt stiffness and repeated the cycle.

While Cook is not being depended on the same way he was three seasons ago, he is still a valuable member of the rotation that the Rockies are hoping they can depend on.

The latest injury news comes from a name no Rockies fans want to hear go down with an ailment. Ubaldo Jimenez was scratched from his start on Wednesday due to an infection in the cuticle of his thumb. The Rockies are not concerned, and from the sound of it, fans shouldn't be either. However, anytime Jimenez's name comes up in the subject of injuries, there is cause for concern,

For now, the Rockies have nothing to worry about. Cook's injury may be the most concerning. However, if there is one area in which the club can afford to get by for a few weeks is in the rotation. Esmil Rogers, Felipe Paulino, or even Greg Reynolds, with a good spring, could hold down the fifth spot in the rotation and the Rockies would squeak through.

For Rockies fans, the hope is that these early injuries are not a sign of what is to come, but the club being extra cautious with a month left to get ready for the season.

As far as on the field, the Rockies are officially no perfect. They, specifically Matt Reynolds and Rafael Betancourt, got beat up by the Padres, ending their perfect run at three games.

For more on the Rockies visit RockiesReview.com

This article is also featured on INDenverTimes.com

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